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Unite suspends Night Tube strike, but other unions still negotiating

Unite has suspended three days of fresh strike action in the long-running dispute over the introduction of the Night Tube on London Underground. 

The union, which represents a 600-strong workforce of engineers and maintenance staff without whom the 270-station network can’t operate, has confirmed it has suspended its 24-hour strikes on Tuesday 26 January, Monday 15 February, and Wednesday 17 February. It has done this so talks with Acas can continue, it says. 

However, RTM has been told the strike action has not been cancelled by the other key unions, RMT and Aslef, which are still in Acas talks with TfL. 

Hugh Roberts, Unite’s national officer for rail, said: “Unite is suspending its three days of strike action this month and in February over pay and night working on the London Underground. 

“This is to allow for further talks with the conciliation service, Acas, on these issues. We will approach these talks in a constructive fashion and urge LUL management to do the same. 

“The strikes have been suspended but the strikes will be back on, if insufficient progress is made. We urge LUL management to make every effort to settle this long-running dispute and not engage in foot-dragging, just because we have suspended this action.” 

He added that the sticking points are an “inadequate” four-year pay offer and a failure to agree over the implementation of the Night Tube. 

Last week, unions stated that despite the Underground’s revised four-year pay offer and TfL’s commitment to hire at least 180 part-time staff , they still believe plans are “not up to their expectations”. 

Aslef claims that “just hours” after the announced industrial action on London Underground, TfL invited the union for talks at Acas. On Friday (15 Jan), Finn Brennan, Aslef’s organiser on London Underground, said: “We have had useful talks at Acas today and agreed a programme of meetings for next week. Aslef has engaged in these talks in a positive spirit and will continue to seek progress.” 

In a statement sent to RTM, Steve Griffiths, COO for London Underground, said: “Our four-year pay offer is extremely fair and we have gone the extra mile to fully protect work-life balance, including hiring 700 new staff for the Night Tube. This means that we are delivering the total protection of our staff that the unions have asked for. 

“We have held numerous meetings with the unions since October 2014 and will continue to work with them to reach a realistic and sustainable resolution.”


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